One in every of Illinois or Minnesota goes to get its first win of the season. Each are lacking a number of gamers, together with some key contributors. School soccer in 2020, ?

Proceed to comply with alongside all afternoon with beat author Scott Richey, who will present updates dwell from Memorial Stadium:

Largely the anticipated starters right now for Illinois:


QB – Coran Taylor

RB – Mike Epstein

WR – Josh Imatorbhebhe, Brian Hightower, Donny Navarro

TE – Daniel Barker

OL – Vederian Lowe, Alex Pihlstrom, Kendrick Inexperienced, Verdis Brown, Alex Palczewski


DE – Isaiah Homosexual, Owen Carney Jr.

DT – Rod Perry, Jer’Zhan Newton

LB – Khalan Tolson, Jake Hansen, Milo Eifler

CB – Devon Witherspoon, Tony Adams

S – Sydney Brown, Derrick Smith


Okay – Caleb Griffin

P – Blake Hayes

LS – Ethan Tabel


Primarily based on the Illinois two-deep, right now’s beginning cornerbacks can be Devon Witherspoon and Kendall Smith with each Nate Hobbs and Marquez Beason dominated out. 

Odds are that will not truly be the case. Witherspoon will begin. That is a given. Throughout the sector, although, will in all probability be Tony Adams. Transferring Adams from security (once more) would imply one other begin for Miami switch Derrick Smith. 

Smith getting the beginning at security, in fact, did not work out that properly in opposition to Wisconsin. These Jake Ferguson touchdowns the place the Badgers’ tight finish was WIDE open in the long run zone? Blown coverages on the again finish, which Smith performed a component in.


The Minnesota protection is not the one one with some newly unavailable gamers. The Illini will probably be with out cornerbacks Nate Hobbs and Marquez Beason and defensive deal with Jamal Woods. 

All three performed final week in opposition to Purdue. Woods was injured within the sport and changed by true freshman Jer’Zhan Newton (who will begin). 

Illinois may even be with out quarterback Matt Robinson, who was injured within the first drive final week in opposition to Purdue. Coran Taylor will get his first profession begin, and true freshman Deuce Spann will probably be his backup. The one different wholesome, obtainable quarterback on the roster is true freshman walk-on Josh Beetham.

The Illini’s record of carryover unavailable gamers from final week consists of: defensive again Christian Bobak, linebacker Shammond Cooper, offensive lineman Doug Kramer, defensive again Michael Marchese, kicker James McCourt, tight finish Griffin Moore (COVID-19 postive), quarterback Brandon Peters (COVID-19 optimistic), defensive lineman Keith Randolph, broad receiver Trevon Sidney and offensive lineman Jordyn Slaughter.

Illinois did get three gamers off the inactive record in offensive linemen Brevyn Jones and Moses Okpala and broad receiver Kerby Joseph.


Minnesota’s protection was already in dire straights heading into right now’s sport. The Gophers dropping their defensive coordinator and play caller to a optimistic COVID check was a large enough blow in itself.

The most recent information from Yahoo! Sports activities’ Pete Thamel solely doubles down on the Gophers’ points. Beginning defensive deal with Keonte Schad will miss teh sport, and Minnesota will rotate seven freshmen on protection. 

The information for the Gophers’ offense is not significantly better. They’re down three projected starters on the offensive line and can begin a walk-on at left guard. 

If that sounds acquainted, it is as a result of Illinois began a walk-on at left guard final week at Purdue. However not right now. Alex Pihlstrom will nonetheless begin between left deal with Vederian Lowe and heart Kendrick Inexperienced, however the former tight finish is now the proud holder of a scholarship.


House discipline benefit has meant one thing within the Illinois-Minnesota matchup the previous two seasons.

The Illini throttled the Gophers in 2018 at Memorial Stadium. It was the shock win of the season for Lovie Smith’s staff. A 55-point effort the direct results of Reggie Corbin and AJ Bush Jr. punishing Minnesota on the bottom.

The Gophers returned the favor final fall on a wet day in Minneapolis. They put up 40 factors with Tanner Morgan throwing for 3 touchdowns. Illinois, in fact, was with out beginning quarterback Brandon Peters for that sport.

Beat author Scott Richey breaks down Saturday’s Illini-Gophers matchup

He missed all however a couple of performs in 2019 after tearing his ACL within the opener in opposition to Akron. Tai…

Illinois and Minnesota are on the backside of the Large Ten West coming into Saturday’s video games. So Bob Asmussen reached out to fellow AP voters and requested who they suppose will emerge atop an unpredictable Large Ten West

Peters is out right now, too. The second of three video games he’ll miss after testing optimistic for COVID-19 two Thursdays in the past. Illinois, in fact, could have residence discipline benefit for no matter it is price in a pandemic. Cardboard cutouts of followers will outnumber the precise folks within the Memorial Stadium stands.

Whoever wins, in fact, will probably be doing so for the primary time in 2020. It is a three-way tie on the backside of the Large Ten West standings, with Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa all winless this 12 months. The Hawkeyes get Michigan State, which simply beat Michigan, so no assure there. One of many Illini or Gophers, although, will emerge victorious.

The entire Illinois soccer protection you will want will probably be proper right here at With kickoff nonetheless a number of hours away, although, compensate for what you may need missed from our protection this week:


Regardless of some early errors — two fumbles and a pair of interceptions — quarterback Coran Taylor, left, introduced Illinois to the doorstep of a comeback victory because the Peoria native accomplished 17 of 29 passing makes an attempt for 273 yards and two touchdowns.

Asmussen | I am wanting to see Taylor’s second act

CHAMPAIGN — On Saturday at Memorial Stadium, Illinois hosts Minnesota in a battle of winless groups. Right here’s what I’m considering earlier than the Illini and Gophers kick off at 2:30 p.m. in what must be one other picture-perfect climate day for a university soccer sport:

1. So, two choices for me with the mid-afternoon first pitch: Sleep in or stand up early and catch the primary half of the 11 a.m. video games.

What do you suppose I’m going to do?

Right here’s a touch: Hand me the distant. I’ll be again on the identical recliner by about 8 p.m. Life is nice. Aside from the entire pandemic factor.

To continue reading, click here.

Extra from Bob Asmussen

Big Ten power poll

Talking points with Minnesota beat writer Megan Ryan

Worth the weight for Pihlstorm


Caleb Griffin connects on a kick for the Illini throughout Saturday’s sport in opposition to Purdue at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. Griffin, a Danville native taking part in with starter James McCourt out, made his first school discipline aim through the Illini’s 31-24 loss.

Griffin embracing aggressive alternative

CHAMPAIGN — Caleb Griffin’s modified the lock display on his telephone after the 2019 Illinois soccer season to easily show “25.”

It was the variety of video games the Illini had performed since he arrived on campus in 2018. The variety of video games through which Griffin didn’t make an affect as a result of he wasn’t on the sector. The Danville native redshirted in 2018 behind future professional Chase McLaughlin after which misplaced a coaching camp battle in 2019 to James McCourt.

Information final Thursday that McCourt would miss the Purdue sport due to contact tracing associated to roommate and Illinois beginning quarterback Brandon Peters’ optimistic COVID-19 check thrust Griffin into the position because the Illini’s beginning kicker.

It additionally obtained Griffin fascinated with how lengthy it had been since he final competed in a sport. He had to return to his senior baseball season with the Vikings — an 8-4 Class 4A regional semifinal loss to Moline on Might 22, 2018.

“It had been 893 days since I performed in any sport,” Griffin mentioned Wednesday. “For people who bear in mind me in highschool, that’s ridiculous for me. Snapchat simply jogged my memory three years in the past (Wednesday) was my final soccer sport my senior 12 months. All that point off — on a regular basis not being in video games, simply watching video games — it was an enormous change for me coming from taking part in three video games every week in highschool.”

To continue reading, click here.

Extra from Scott Richey

Smith reports no new COVID-19 cases

Patience a virtue for Brown in Illini backfield

Carney taking the bad with the good

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